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'I've always stood up for non-racialism' - Zille

Helen Zille was talking about her new job at the IRR and responded to her detractors who believed her controversial tweets were 'race-baiting'.

FILE: Former Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Western Cape premier and leader of the Democratic Alliance Helen Zille said as a liberal, she was not impartial or neutral and believed South Africa must pursue a non-racial future in an open market economy, protect and extend property rights.

Last week, Zille joined the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) as a senior policy fellow.

A press release from the IRR stated that "the joining of forces between Ms Zille and the IRR brings together two of the loudest reformist voices in the country."

Zille joined CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies on the line to talk about her new job and responded to her detractors who believed her controversial tweets were 'race-baiting'.

"I have always stood up for non-racialism consistently throughout my whole life, even when it was unfashionable to do so. We had a wonderful brief spell in the 1990s where non-racialism was progressive, where [the former] President [Nelson] Mandela held the torch for it. But now suddenly people are mobilising on a racial basis.

"They think it is progressive and call it identity politics, but what it actually is, is a reversal to the apartheid philosophy - that people must think of themselves as racial groups, and it's one group against another, biologically."

Listen to the audio below for more.